Strap on your seat belts, kids, it’s going to be a bumpy night! The roles of Alfred Pennyworth and Lex Luthor have been cast and confirmed, and I think it might just be as controversial as Ben Affleck.

According to Warner Bros. Pictures, Jesse Eisenberg (Social Network) will play Lex Luthor, and Jeremy Irons will play Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler, Alfred Pennyworth in the upcoming movie.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.


“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940,” Snyder said. “What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

Honestly, I don’t hate this decision. Eisenberg played it cold and hard in The Social Network, and I think that ruthlessness can come out in his take on Lex Luthor. And I really dig on Jeremy Irons as Alfred, too. It’s going to take some time to sink in, but a good move for Warner Bros.

Actors Irons and Gedeck pose during a photocall to promote the movie "Night Train to Lisbon" at the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin

“As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure,” Snyder said. “He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”

Will Irons’ Alfred be a mean, lean, fighting machine? I don’t know. We haven’t seen a script or a boilerplate synopsis from Warner Bros.

Use the comment section below to share your thoughts and reactions.


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. I don’t know if I have a strong opinion on Eisenberg. He can pull off smug, a-hole, smart. Bald?

    Irons – I suppose this is similar to casting Sir Michael Caine as Alfred in Nolan’s trilogy. Fabulous actor in what is a bit role, but has great lines and carries a great presence in the spot. Could be a good casting.

    But at the end of the day, Man of Steel left a very bad taste in my mouth and Goyer wrote that. Like Scott Kurtz has often ranted about, I feel like with this group at the helm not changing up what they did – this movie won’t be worth seeing in the theaters. And will be a rental for me.

    Or – road trip to Major Spoilers HQ to watch digital release with the boys.

  2. Not crazy about this (Eisenberg, that is). I appreciate that fan reaction is often too reactive…but the difference between something like the casting of Heath Ledger as the Joker and Eisenberg as Luthor is that Ledger at least had a track record of delivering varied performances…where Eisenberg seems to just play the same schtick over and over again, a style that personally strikes me as an annoyingly precocious adolescent…but of course, we will have to wait and see…

  3. It took a second, but I actually love it. Maybe in the 70’s and 80’s some one like Lex (brilliant kid with a mean streak becomes billionaire tycoon) would look like Spacy or Hackman but in todays world, they would look like Zuckerberg or Musk. I like that he is closer to Superman’s age too.

    This is all good (with the right script, of course)

    • I almost agree, websnap. I like that he’s closer to Henry Calvill’s age, and if this was Man of Steel 2, I’d be totally on-board with it. But it’s Batman vs. Superman, so I’m worried Eisenberg won’t be able to play off Ben Affleck’s Batman very much if the situation arises.

      For now I’ll just say I’ll wait to see.

  4. Well here’s my thoughts, Eisenberg won’t be the worst Lex we have seen. I foresee them doing a flashback where Eisenberg has his hair and then skip to the future thing where he doesn’t. And at the same time they have kinda burned the whole super boy thing if the flashback was going to happen. Now having Irons as Alfred could be intriguing. Here it could be a “Beware the Batman” Alfred and he’s a batman lite.

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